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Monday, August 24, 2009

Eleven Plus Speed

Over the last few days we have heard a lot about speed.

The wonder runner from Jamaica – Usain Bolt thrilled us with breaking world records. What talent. What a wonderful man as well. He showed all of us that winning, and taking part in a stressful activity, does not have to be deadly serious and full of tension. His smiles and activities on and off the track must have filled most of us with a sense of wonder and joy.

This morning we rode the High Speed train from Ebbsfleet to St. Pancras. The journey from Gravesend, where we live, to the centre of London usually takes around forty five minutes. Today’s run took exactly 17 minutes. Nigel, our chatty and urbane conductor, told us that the train had reached, at times, around 125 miles per hour. Significant parts of the journey were underground – including a seemingly incredibly short spell under the River Thames.

Parents can be remarkably sanguine about their children passing the eleven plus – because most parents are realistic and down to earth about the ability and potential of their children. But some parents do tend to feel threatened by speed. They want their children to complete more questions on a paper – or fewer questions. They want their child to complete the paper on time – and miss as few questions as possible.

“If you get stuck on a question, leave it out and come back to it later on – if you have time,” is a plea made by many parents.

Suggest to your child to read a question at least twice. The second reading for many questions may not take much longer than the 9.58 seconds that it took Usain Bolt to run the 100m.

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